We are kicking off our new PAMLevents project by inviting you to join the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles (ISLA) and Occidental College’s Scholar in Residence, Alison Rose Jefferson, M.H.C., Ph.D., for a March 20 symposium titled “Promised Land, Hallowed Ground: Commemorative Justice and Making Change in Community Heritage Preservation in Southern California.”  Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson will discuss the history of black Americans in public spaces in Southern California. She will relate some of her work with the Belmar History + Art project, a public history and art project in Santa Monica, California. The Zoom event will be held virtually on Saturday, March 20, between 1:00-5:00 pm (PST). Please click on the event title to sign up for Promised Land, Hallowed Ground before the event itself.

The Belmar History + Art project is a Santa Monica, California civic commemorative justice initiative featuring emotionally resonating, multifaceted education and inspirational and remembrance programming. This project reconstructs, reclaims, and reinserts a more complex American story about the erased historical Black life in the South Santa Monica Beach neighborhoods, a forgotten or erased story of the black community which contributed to making the bay city’s development and cultural life from the 1900s to the mid-twentieth century. Underpinning the content of Belmar History + Art programming are the stories of people, places, and events that are an outgrowth of Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson’s research from her recent book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era and new research done for the project. A third generation Californian, Dr. Alison Rose Jefferson is a historian and heritage conservation consultant. She reconstructs the stories of the African American experience which have been left out or marginalized in the telling of American history as a tool in the struggle for social justice.

Dr. Jefferson is currently working on Applied History projects dealing with the African American experience during the Jim Crow era. Working with Santa Monica’s Belmar History + Art project and the Central Avenue heritage trail with Angels Walk L.A, Dr. Jefferson is drawing on her research to guide and enrich these public programs at these Southern California locales that feature historical significance as well as contemporary consequence. Both projects are arriving for the public to experience in early 2021. In 2021, Dr. Jefferson adds to her activities the role of Scholar in Residence with the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles at Occidental College. In virtual campus and public programs she will share her work to re-center the African American experience in local history and heritage conservation efforts. Also in 2021, she joins the new Advisory Council for The Trust for Public Land’s Black History and Culture Program. Her recent book, Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era (University of Nebraska Press) was honored with the 2020 Miriam Matthews Ethnic History Award by the Los Angeles City Historical Society for its exceptional contributions to the greater understanding and awareness of Los Angeles history. Her work has been noted in KCET-LA programming, LAIST.com, Los Angeles Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, CBS LA, KTLA and ABC LA news TV programs, among other media outlets. Learn more about Jefferson’s work at: www.alisonrosejefferson.com.